DJs are raving over Indonesian meme, ‘Om Telolet Om’; Here’s what it means
Yesterday, December 20, the dance music world became immediately inundated with a bizarre new meme, “Om Telolet Om.” The almost-palindromic phrase, which translates roughly to “Sir, honk your horn, sir” in Indonesian, flabbergasted as many DJs as it attracted. Nonetheless, numerous big-name producers hopped onto the viral opportunity with greater enthusiasm than the mannequin challenge. Within a day of the meme’s inception, the Asian onomatopoeia spurred “remixes” from acts like Ummet Ozcan and Firebeats:
While not everyone in the dance music industry put effort toward producing music surrounding the meme in its infancy, the phrase has been at the tip of every DJs thumbs as varied stars have tweeted in coy knowledge of the meme’s existence, bewilderment at its meaning, or to help others in figuring out its origin.
what is Om Telolet Om?
— MARTIN GARRIX (@MartinGarrix) December 20, 2016
OM TELOLET OM
— Zedd (@Zedd) December 20, 2016
Om Telolet Om is awesome
— marshmello (@marshmellomusic) December 20, 2016
Om Telolet Om
— DJ SNAKE (@djsnake) December 20, 2016
top track of #Ultra2017:
Om – Telolet (Om remix)
— Ultra Music Festival (@ultra) December 21, 2016
Last night, Billboard Dance took it upon themselves to uncover the arcane truths behind “Om Telolet Om.” After reaching out to an beguilingly oblivious Zedd for comment, the outlet reported the following information:
“It appears the phrase refers to the onomatopoeia of Indonesian city buses. According to the Jakarta Post, the phenomenon began in November with a Facebook video that showed children shouting and waving signs with the phrase (which literally means “sir, honk your horn, sir”) at passing city buses in Jepara, Central Java, then erupting in gleeful cheers when a driver accedes to their request. The video has garnered 1.8 million views and more than 45,000 shares since, inspiring others to imitate the feat across the region.”
Billboard Dance remarked on the severe viral nature of the meme in India, which has reportedly caused traffic jams in the capital city of Jakarta, and noted that the meme appeared to catch wind following legions of Indonesian kids spamming DJs’ social media accounts with the meme. Below is an example of the “telolet” noise whence the craze has arizen:
Should the relevance of “Om Telolet Om” survive until festival season, we’re on the brink of a very horn-laden circuit.
H/T: Billboard Dance